Rachel Jeantel

There has been a lot written about Rachel Jeantel, the friend of Trayvon Martin.  So much so, that I feel it isn’t necessary for me to write my own post.  Many writers have articulated my disgust of the treatment of Jeantel. This is a young woman who heard her friend get murdered. I can only imagine the trauma it has caused her. Yet, ignorant folks bashed the teenager’s looks and dialect.

One of my favorite posts written about Jeantel, comes courtesy of the Blog Snob website:

Jeantel made some uncomfortable because she was too much like how some black people are. We all have relatives or have known someone like this or perhaps have even been Rachel Jeantel ourselves. And the self-loathing that is instilled in most of us to dislike ourselves — especially those who are darker and heavyset and remind us of the stereotypes we are running from — is real and it was on display in real time on Twitter. It wasn’t surprising, but it was disappointing that those commenting, often with spelling errors and poor grammar of their own, were allowing their fear of “the white folks are going to think we’re all like this” cloud the fact that Jeantel was simply being herself.

Read the rest of the post at: http://blacksnob.com/snob_blog/2013/6/27/the-zimmerman-trial-rachel-jeantel-and-you.html#.UdB169j3N74

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Summer Book #1: Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

Okay, I promised summer reading suggestions. The first book on the list is “Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America,” by Melissa V. Harris-Perry.   I got the book today from the library  (so it should be at your local branch, if it isn’t, demand for it to be 🙂  I will start reading it tomorrow. I’m a fast reader, so I should be able to give a review soon. I’m encouraging folks to read along with me. Hopefully, we can have a conversation about the book.  I have a feeling it’s going to be a good read 🙂

Exhale

I can’t believe just a few posts ago, I had renounced talk shows. It looks like I will have to eat my words. It’s all because I saw a clip of this upcoming show:

Wow, go head ladies! I am feeling this show more than The Real, the talk show that made me shrug my shoulders.  I feel there is more diversity of looks/backgrounds of black women on “Exhale.”  It’s also an opportunity to see black women celebrities that have been underrepresented in mainstream media (AJ Johnson and Malinda Williams).

I have to admit I am also biased towards the show, because Issa Rae will be one of the hosts. Issa Rae is the creator of the hit web series “Awkward Black Girl.” As a DIY (Do-it-Yourself) artist, I love that someone like Rae (who developed and wrote her own show), will be given more exposure. It’s an opportunity for other black women to see, (that one doesn’t have to be an established celebrity), to be successful.  Whether it’s creating a show or any other business interests, it is doable. There are so many resources out there and people who will support you. It’s why I heart DIY culture!

I’m crossing my fingers that this show lives up to its potential 😉

The show premieres June 27th on the Aspire Network.

Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements

If  you consider yourself an avid reader, yet have never read or heard of Octavia Butler, for shame! No, but seriously, Octavia Butler should be on every reader’s book list. She was a gifted writer (sadly, Ms. Butler passed away in 2006), who used her talents to tackle issues on race, gender, class, sexuality, etc., within science fiction books. I understand everyone doesn’t like sci-fi, but I challenge folks to read at least one book by Octavia Butler. You will not be disappointed. I think a good starting point would be Butler’s “Kindered.” It’s a quick and easy read.

My favorite books by Octavia Butler:

Kindred

Parable of the Talents

Parable of the Sower

Xenogenesis

There are two young black women writers, working on a book, in honor of Ms. Butler. In the writers own words:“It’s an anthology of radical science and speculative fiction written by organizers and  activists.” If you can, support their Indiegogo campaign….

Happy reading!!  I will be sharing other summer book recommendations. Keep an eye out 🙂

Black Actresses & Colorism

I am starting to forgive Viola Davis for “The Help.” Lawd, I know it’s hard out there for black actresses (especially darker skinned ones), but it  sucked seeing such a classy woman play a maid. Not there is anything wrong with a film looking at the history of black maids, if it’s done with respect. “The Help” was typical white romanticizing of an exploitative/oppressive time.  White America loves to see black women play Mammy:

In this clip from Oprah’s upcoming Next Chapter, Ms. Davis (who looks GORGEOUS) speaks about the reality of colorism in Hollyweird.

No, you can’t say the N-word

There are about 40 million black folks in the U.S.   Black folks aren’t monolithic (although white America tries their hardest to make us one), so trust me when I tell you that out of that 40 million, there is just a small percentage that say “nigga.”  Of course, something like this is hard to quantify. But it’s not far-fetched to believe, that more black folks than not, don’t use the N-word. I mean, there are  40 MILLION OF US!!

Yet, many white folks/non-black folks like to justify them using the word, because some black folks say it. I tend to have mixed feelings about the word. I rarely use it, and feel it’s tacky to do so. However, I do understand  that for some black folks, it’s just another form of slang.  It’s  somewhat  similar to how I  call black folks negro, sometimes. I don’t mean it in a derogatory way, it’s just a way for me to emphasize my point  (“Negro, please”)There are other groups that have flipped language that has been used to  dehumanize them,  but folks outside of that group, still understand it’s an in-house thing  (or don’t assume everyone in that group has embraced the word).

But there seems to be an obsession with white folks/non-black folks that want to say nigga. Because of our country’s racist/white supremacist history, and because some other communities of color have jumped on the anti-blackness bandwagon (hey better them, than us!), many folks think they should be able to treat black folks any old kind of way. Even when there are 39 million of us saying please don’t say nigga,  these folks will fixate on that 1 million. It’s because it gives them the  excuse to act how they really want to act towards black folks–racist.

The View discussed this issue recently on their show. I agree with Whoopi,  when she stated that  non-blacks can go ahead and say the word, but to be prepared for the consequences. I strongly recommend that non-black folks don’t us the N-word, but if you insist, that’s on you.  There are 39 million black folks that will clock you in the jaw, and keep it moving.  I don’t want to hear nobody begging for help or crying when it happens.  If you trying to be about that life, you best suck it up.

Dr. Omi Osun Joni L. Jones’s Blackademics Talk: “Sista Docta”

In Blackademics talk #1, Dr. Omi Osun Joni L. Jones combines poetry, dance and drumming to illuminate her experience as an African American woman professor in a predominantly white and male academy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SJlR34S8L8&feature=player_embedded

Black Girls CODE – Summer of CODE 2013 – The Remix

Help fund the next generation of tech and expose 2,000+ girls to coding during our expanded CODE summer program. Donate Today!

Check out their Indiegogo campaign to learn more:

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/black-girls-code-summer-of-code-2013-the-remix?browse_v=new

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